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Canada Japan United States Entertainment Your Rights Online

Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP 227

An anonymous reader writes Last month, there were several Canadian media reports on how the work of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, had entered the public domain. While this was oddly described as a "copyright quirk", it was no quirk. The term of copyright in Canada (alongside TPP countries such as Japan and New Zealand) is presently life of the author plus an additional 50 years, a term that meets the international standard set by the Berne Convention. Those countries now appear to have caved to U.S. pressure as there are reports that they have agreed to extend to life plus 70 years as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP

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  • by skywire ( 469351 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:41PM (#48982497)

    Despite protestations to the contrary, and US Supreme Court legalism, copyright is now perpetual.

    • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:45PM (#48982549) Homepage

      Despite protestations to the contrary, and US Supreme Court legalism, copyright is now perpetual.

      And laws retroactively changing public contract, and that long after the official benificiary excuse is dead.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kierthos ( 225954 )

      And you can bet that within a couple years, Disney (and other corporations) will push for another extension. Lord knows, we can't have Mickey Mouse enter the public domain "on schedule" in 2023.

    • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:57PM (#48982681) Homepage Journal

      So much for "Original intent". One of the clearest things about copyright in the constitution was it was there for a limited period so the work can make it to commons for others to build on. The same frauds that push the "Original Intent" dogma when if comes to reeling in corporate malfeasance are the same people that push Micky Mouse Copyright.

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @03:03PM (#48982751) Homepage

        These days copyright and patents mean whatever the fuck corporations tell the American government it means ... who then dutifully work to force it on the rest of the world.

        Because sadly the American government are more or less just the enforcement arm for multinational entities.

        O.O <--- shoot Mickey Mouse

      • The same frauds that push the "Original Intent" dogma when if comes to reeling in corporate malfeasance are the same people that push Micky Mouse Copyright.

        No, they are different frauds. Republicans support corporate malfeasance. Democrats pander to the media companies.

        • by KlomDark ( 6370 )

          Yep, it's really that simple. Life is a binary equation.

          • Yep, it's really that simple. Life is a binary equation.

            Exactly. It's all either-or, diametric opposites. One eats their own babies, the other eats other people's babies.

      • People push for laws that benefit them

        • Re:Shocker (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @04:23PM (#48983637)

          That's natural and fine. A good democratic society is a majority rules as its impossible for everyone to have everything they want all at the same time.

          The problem comes in when a small minority has the ability to push for laws that are against the benefit of the majority and the majority isn't given the opportunity to fight back in any meaningful sense.

          Copyright is exactly a prime example of this -- a small number of major copyright holders keep pushing for extensions and they usually get them because while a lack of public domain is terribly for society as a whole, it has very little impact on any individual person and the majority ends up not even realizing what they're losing until its too late, never mind being able to put up a meaningful fight against these perpetual extensions.

          We do have groups like the EFF and OpenMedia nowadays who are fighting back a little bit, and even having some success in certain areas, but Disney's politician buying power dwarfs the combined resources of all those groups put together, likely many times over. Add in Sony and Universal and whoever else and the playing field is still pretty unbalanced even with public interest groups taken into account.

          • by Altrag ( 195300 )

            Just to clarify before Slashdot goes all Slashdotty -- Yes I'm aware that "majority rules" is an oversimplification.

          • The problem comes in when a small minority has the ability to push for laws that are against the benefit of the majority and the majority isn't given the opportunity to fight back in any meaningful sense.

            The part that you're missing is that "minority" and "majority" refer to dollars, not human beings.

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              Now but wait, according to constitutions all people within a society are meant to be equal. So according to US law if money equals speech than all people by law are required to have equal access, hence you should only be able to spend what the poorest can spend, otherwise you are publicly stating under law that all people are not equal and that some people are by law entitled to much, MUCH, greater speech than other people. So if money equals speech, then by constitutional law and people required to be equ

    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      infinity minus one?

    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @03:22PM (#48982923)

      and they wonder why there is a 'war on content owners/providers' by torrent/usenet fans.

      they wont' play by the rules, they keep changing them and they do everything they can to swindle cheat and lie to us.

      and so, we have 100% lost all respect for them.

      horse has already left the barn. I stopped paying for content years ago after I decided that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. they wont' honor rules and so neithe will I.

      look, content guys, this is a war you'll never win. you really want to 'bring it'? the young generation knows about vpns, torrents and how to get around DRM. most of the young friends I have cut the cord and no longer pay for cable or satellite, no longer rent movies and no longer buy them.

      so, you still want to have a war with us?

      as morgan freeman said in the batman/dark knight movie, "well, good luck with that".

      • and they wonder why there is a 'war on content owners/providers' by torrent/usenet fans.

        You are not being intellectually honest. People do not download stuff to protest copyright extensions.

        • You also have to take in mind the public respect for the institution in general. Most people alive today in the US have not only had the public domain not grow in their lifetimes, it's actually shrank due to retroactive copyright. It's easier to get people to follow laws when said laws are reasonable, so having unreasonable laws can lead to breaking the law even in situations where it would be covered by a reasonable law. That's part of why drug and alcohol prohibition are so dangerous, as it gets people
          • Most people alive today in the US have not only had the public domain not grow in their lifetimes, it's actually shrank due to retroactive copyright.

            ... and the vast majority of downloaders are unaware of that. Even if they were aware, they wouldn't care, because they are downloading new stuff, not Disney cartoons from the 1920s.

        • by Rennt ( 582550 )
          I certainly download stuff because the copyright bargain is no longer respected by the "owners". I absolutely download stuff because copyright maximalists and their business models are a cancer. I pay for things ONLY when it actually goes toward incentivizing creation and not towards enriching rent seekers. You might say that's not a protest but it's certainly a moral choice.
      • they wont' play by the rules, they keep changing them and they do everything they can to swindle cheat and lie to us.

        I was about to comment that they play by the rules, but keep open the option to change the rules at any point if it suits them. Then, I remembered that the big content companies have repeatedly been found to ignore copyright law when they feel like it. So it isn't even a matter of "everyone follow these laws we've written" but one of "everyone else follow these laws we've written but we're

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 )

        and they wonder why there is a 'war on content owners/providers' by torrent/usenet fans.

        Widespread piracy of copyrighted material has very little to do with copyright terms being continuously extended. The vast majority of material available on bittorrent and usenet are recent works, not things that would have fallen out of copyright even under 14-year term of original US copyright law.

        • As I explained above, it could be a matter of the law being unreasonable causes greater contempt for the law. If you ask someone to wait 5 years, they are more likely to obey that than if they have to wait until after they are dead before it is in the public domain.
  • Appear to have Caved
  • US Pressure? (Score:4, Informative)

    by snadrus ( 930168 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:48PM (#48982571) Homepage Journal

    The American people don't want this.
    The music corporations are entirely non-US companies.
    Copyrights are not beneficial to Search or Share Internet industries.
    The only remaining beneficiary is the movie industry, a relatively small group of people.

    • So Copyright only applies to music and movies? Um, no. Just a few examples you've missed, but maybe you've never run across them: art, photography, literature, heck even software is covered by Copyright.

      So, while I am totally against extending Copyright indefinitely, don't be so dramatic in your claims.

      • I haven't heard of anyone in the software industry pushing/lobbying for longer copyright terms.
        Perhaps maybe literature, like the estate of J R R Tolkien, who died 41 years ago. Can't have Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit become public domain.

        • That's because software is long, long obsolete before the term would expire. The US term for a work-for-hire is 95 years - there wasn't even a concept of software that long ago.

      • There was a panel of authors a few years ago arguing for shorter copyright because it would strengthen their bargaining position with their publishers. Most books make 90% (or more) of their profits within the first 7 years of publication, so there's little incentive to extend it and publishers survive by constantly producing a stream of new material. One of the reasons that they like eBooks is that it gives them a way of monetising their back catalogue, but for a lot of authors being able to give away th

    • Re:US Pressure? (Score:4, Informative)

      by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:53PM (#48982645) Homepage Journal

      The music corporations are entirely non-US companies.

      That doesn't mean these corporations don't have their hand up my government's ass, working its mouth like a puppet.

    • The American people don't want this.

      Have you talked to these people. Unfortunately, the the number of individually that have to bought teh whole, you would download a car movie industry line hook line and sinker are a tiny tiny minority. America, and the rest of the world are completely hooked on the idea on owning your inventions intellectual and otherwise, forever.

  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:51PM (#48982609)

    In the abstract, the situation seems obvious. First, it's ridiculous to think that there are any marginal artistic works which are only created because the extra 20 years of protection in US law make them profitable, whereas they would not be made otherwise. Moreover, any such works can't be any good, so why worry about them? Second, it clearly makes no sense to extend the term of protection of already-existing works: they have already been created, so we don't need to provide the artists any extra motivation to create them.

    What matters here, however, is not the setting of incentives for authors, but the incentives of trade negotiators. Here, the US is behaving rationally: if the US negotiators convince Canada and Japan to keep Mickey Mouse under protection for 20 more years, then more royalties will flow from Canada to the US. This may be bad for Canadians, but not so much for US citizens. More generally, since the US is a large source of popular entertainment but a (relative to its size) a small importer, it wants other goverments to fleece their own citizens in favour of US interests.

    While I'm sad that Canada caved on this, Canada is a (relatively) small country next to a big one, and (for example) trade restrictions on lumber are far more significant to Canada than the copyright extension. I stil think they should have stood firm, but it's not such an obvious call as it seems.

    • Yes - and agricultural considerations are also a big deal for Japan. I'd be curious to know what they asked for in exchange for this.
    • Negotiations are negotiations, if the US press one issue above all else, those other issues that might have benefited the US might not get through, plus the other side gets to get some of their stuff through.

      No, this is not rational, this is just narrowminded thinking by people who haven't realized even fucking mobile games is a bigger industry than Hollywood now.

    • That's a wonderful idea, let's sell our grandchildren's rights to use expressions that have been milked dry (by and large). The price is the right to clear cut the forests and destroy their environment.

    • First, it's ridiculous to think that there are any marginal artistic works which are only created because the extra 20 years of protection in US law make them profitable, whereas they would not be made otherwise. Moreover, any such works can't be any good, so why worry about them?

      Counter-example: Mark Twain had his auto-biography released a portion every 25 years, exactly to be sure that it would still be under copyright a hundred years later (thus providing income for his kids/grandkids). Maybe you think Mark Twain wasn't any good, but sometimes it's better to find out an answer, instead of just thinking it's ridiculous.

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        That depends.. are you suggesting that he wouldn't have written his auto-biography at all if he wasn't able to do that?

        Not to mention the issue of whether or not its right or good for society to be providing for Twain's grand kids -- the only thing they "did" to deserve it was having the right paternal lineage. Why should Twain's grand kid get to benefit from his grandfather's writing while I don't get any benefit from my grandfather's days in the coal mines? How does that scenario benefit society as a wh

        • Not to mention the issue of whether or not its right or good for society to be providing for Twain's grand kids -- the only thing they "did" to deserve it was having the right paternal lineage.

          It's as much as you ever did to 'deserve' to read his writing.

      • Actually, Twain published portions of his autobiography in 25 installments over a period of about 2 years, and then the full thing was released 100 years after his death basically because he didn't think the world could handle it before then. Also, that someone might try to exploit the system when writing a book doesn't mean that they wouldn't still write it absent such option.
    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      Its worse than that. Just try to find any work from prior to about 5-10 years ago that didn't hit its respective top 100 list. Not only is the benefits after 15-20 years marginal, the products often aren't even for sale by that point making the marginal profits exactly zero.

      Disney in particular is really odd, and I suspect the popular lore isn't complete. "Mickey Mouse" isn't a copyright -- its a trademark. If Steamboat Willy enters the public domain umm.. so what? Does Disney really make that much off of a 100 year old fairly terrible film? Its not like SBW going into the public domain would have any effect at all on their more recent (and presumably still profitable) works, including any more recent Mickey Mouse films.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:55PM (#48982659) Homepage
    its like commercial capitalism doesnt learn. Healthcare for example got so bad, so reprehensible and so broken in america that the federal government damned near stepped in and nationalized it. Internet access in america became so godforsaken slow and corrupt the government not only redefined the legal definition of broadband and tripled the speed, but re-classified internet service as common carrier. The institutional precedent for profiteering not withstanding, you'd think more multinational conglomerates would take a step back to avoid losing a large swath of their monopolies but no.

    TPP proposes copyright legislation that could render generic pharmaceuticals nonexistent. It ships jobs away, strengthens corporate personhood, and turns regulations like the FCC, FDA, and OSHA into things that can actually be sued if they cause a loss in revene for a company. If you consider unemployment in america to include the legal definition as well as "jobless" which isn't typically counted, america hovers around 24% unemployment largely systemic and driven by things like NAFTA so what does the TPP mean in the long run?

    Piracy can and will continue, and in large part may even become legitimized. Large scale work strikes and protests will likely see the return of unionization if recent protests are any indication. And finally if you grow the unemployment rate enough, you'll enjoy another round of occupy protests that might not be as peaceful as the last ones. But ultimately pushing this type of trade serves to de-legitimize american capitalism. You can no longer, with a straight face, stand in front of a room full of children and commend a system that will render so many of them unemployed and poor that to say it was their fault for being lazy would be a comic farse at best, and a grave insult at worst.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Gee, it's almost like unfettered or barely regulated capitalism never delivers what people want, but instead tries to take whatever it possibly can by whatever means available. Just the Invisible Hand of the marketplace slapping you in the face again.

      Of course, admitting that for your average idiot in the US would mean admitting that they were lied to and that they bought into the lie despite its very premise being bad for their own individual economic situation just about all the time. The cognitive diss

      • Gee, it's almost like unfettered or barely regulated capitalism never delivers what people want, but instead tries to take whatever it possibly can by whatever means available.

        Capitalism is essentially an interconnected system of optimizers, that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to optimize for values you consider most important. Yes, it sucks, but everything else we've tried has sucked more.

        • by dryeo ( 100693 )

          Actually what has worked the best is to take the best parts of different systems and combine them. Capitalism with some government oversight and some socialism. Of course the trick is to balance the systems but in the best places to live the system has been a mixture.

    • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

      The institutional precedent for profiteering not withstanding, you'd think more multinational conglomerates would take a step back to avoid losing a large swath of their monopolies but no.

      Your examples were healthcare and broadband internet.

      With healthcare the reform did not really change anybody's market share, and subsidies ensured that there would be more market participants. That is, companies that were making money before probably will make more money. That will sure teach them!

      With the internet we've yet to see what will happen, but so far the US government isn't really creating any new competitors in that space. If they allow municipal broadband and new companies to come in and it

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      Internet access in america became so godforsaken slow

      Oh yeah, back in the 1990's my Internet speed was 24kbps, now it is much slower! NOT!

  • It may be spelled "Trans-Pacific Partnership", but it's pronounced "Greater Pacific Rim Co-Prosperity Sphere".
  • US not the only one (Score:4, Informative)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:58PM (#48982693)

    Further, the European Union initially demanded that Canada extend the term of copyright in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, but that too was effectively rebuffed.

    The EU wanted the extension too. Maybe the EU alone could not apply enough pressure but it looks like the EU and the US can. The US is such a good target but they are not the only bad actors.

    PS. I am Canadian

  • by Maxwell ( 13985 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @02:59PM (#48982703) Homepage
    The grandkids I don't have yet could be in their 70's by the time copyrights on my work expires. They could be kicked out of their old age home! You wouldn't kick a senior out to the street would you?! This is a necessary change to protect future generations, and I applaud USA for being so forward thinking!
  • Bend Over Canada! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HannethCom ( 585323 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @03:12PM (#48982829)
    It doesn't surprise me we are being asked to bend over. We do have Harper as the Prime Minister and he would have us bow down and take it from all our capitalist overlords. The Conservative Party is big business, thus they don't care about the 99.99997% of people in this country. (I estimated there are about 1000 big business owners)

    Face it, we started taking in the ass the second the Conservatives got a majority government. It wasn't if this was going to happen, just a matter of when and how big would the objects be.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I agree Harper is bad but we've been taking it in the ass from the States for a lot longer than Harper's Cronies have been in power.

      Remember, it was Mulroney that brought us NAFTA while lining his own pockets!

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @03:32PM (#48983031) Homepage Journal

    It's not a surprise with our cuntservative "leadership" kissing American and Israeli asses all the time. :(

  • Not just copying (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This isn't just about a few early 007 tales going public domain. James Bond as a character in books and movies is only fully protected if the entire series is in copyright, as the Conan Doyle estate found out about Sherlock Holmes.

    In the end, this kind of scheming and legal pressure is disgusting. There's no sane nor sensible reason for copyrighted material to fund a life of ease for anyone past the lifetime of the author and often elderly spouse. Let the kids, grandkids and so-forth go out and work for a l

  • I hate the TPP and copyrights in general, but don't worry. 99% of what we get is recycled crap, so this problem fixes itself in 20 years. I guess they have to just keep extending it... Life + 1000 years coming next.
  • Just remember this next you attempt to complain about your works being pirated.
    It isn't OUR doing, you have only the government to blame.

    If you refuse to pay for copyright protection for 70 years after your death, then don't bitch when I say my check for your work won't clear for 70 years after your death either.

  • by jargonburn ( 1950578 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @04:21PM (#48983619)
    Remind in 2034: Begin lobbying to extend copyright to author's life + 90 years.

    (changed from 2014)

  • Who Cares (Score:5, Funny)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2015 @06:23PM (#48984673)

    thepiratebay.se is back, so none of this matters.

  • Not for the free films.
    Not for the free books.

    No. This makes me want to pirate something out of pure spite. Call it a protest.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake

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